Andhra Pradesh Director-General of Police (DGP) N Sambasiva Rao has said that Maoists were losing ground in the state, and assured citizens that the extremism was under control.
The DGP was addressing media persons in Mangalgiri on Saturday.
“Naxal activities have come down in the State and on its borders. Maoists should tell what they want from the government. We appeal to them to shun violence and join the mainstream. The police have been doing a commendable job in combating Naxalism. Seventeen Naxal-related incidents were reported on the State’s borders last year. The number was much bigger earlier,” The Hindu quoted the DGP as saying.
“Ganja is being cultivated in about 11 mandals in Visakhapatnam district and Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB), and two mandals in East Godavari district. The police and excise officials are destroying the plantations. We will put an end to ganja smuggling soon,” Rao added.
The DGP's statements come shortly after suspected Maoists carried out two attacks in the state's Agency area.
Last week, Maoists killed a 29-year-old man after suspecting him to be a 'police informer', the AP police said.
The man, identified as Gampa Srinu, was reported to be a non-tribal businessman from Annavaram village in G Madugula mandal in the Visakhapatnam Agency area.
A week before that, armed members of the CPI (Maoist) set fire to a BSNL cell tower near Darakonda village in Visakhapatnam Agency area.
According to reports, around 15 to 20 armed cadre of Galikonda Area Committee, believed to led by a commander Naveen, went to the BSNL tower and set fire to it, with the help of some discarded tires.
The arson was seemingly a clear message from the banned outfit, that it still enjoys power in the two Telugu states, as it had come two days after a high-level meeting between the DGPs of four Maoist-affected states, along with counter insurgency officials was held in Visakhapatnam.
Some handwritten posters were also left at the spot, which asked local TDP and BJP leaders to clearly spell out their stand on bauxite mining.